Betfair Chase 2021 Runners Guide: A look at the eight runners in Haydock Park feature

Betfair Chase Runners: Bristol De Mai is one of eight lining up at Haydock Park
Betfair Chase Runners: Bristol De Mai is one of eight lining up at Haydock Park

A quality field of eight runners will line up for the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park on Saturday afternoon, and we take a look at the entire field here, and provide an odds comparison grid for the Grade 1 feature...

1. A Plus Tard - R Blackmore - H De Bromhead

A former Cheltenham Festival winner that has turned into one of the premier staying chasers in Ireland, and heads into this event on the back of some fine performances over fences last season. A spectacular winner of the Savills Chase at Leopardstown in December, A Plus Tard then was a gallant runner-up behind stablemate Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. There's no doubting that he will be targeted at the premier spring prize once again at the 2022 Festival, so is sure to improve for his first outing this year, but he's a real class act, and is the one to beat.

2. Bristol De Mai - D Jacob - N Twiston-Davies

A sensational three-times winner of the Betfair Chase, Bristol De Mai is attempting to join Kauto Star on four wins in the prestigious Haydock Park Grade 1 event. A real course specialist, whose last three wins have come at the Lancashire track, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained will have to deal with quicker conditions in this year's renewal, which could ultimately go against him. However, he's sure to run a solid race in his quest for glory once again, and can only be discounted at your peril.

3. Chatham Street Lad - S Quinlan - M Winters

A hugely progressive chaser last season, Chatham Street Lad propelled into the limelight when storming to a 15-length victory in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham last December. Only able to finish fourth in the Grade 1 Marsh Novices' Chase at the festival, the Michael Winters-trained charge bounced back to form with a win at Limerick, but he was disappointing on his first start this season, and while he will strip fitter here, the jury is out on whether he is a real top level performer.

4. Clondaw Castle - J Burke - T George

An ultra-consistent nine-year-old, who sparkled at Kempton Park back in February with a win in a competitive Kempton Park Grade 3 handicap chase. Kicking on from that effort with a fine second placed finish behind Clan Des Obeaux in the Grade 1 Betway Bowl at Aintree, Clondaw Castle has forced his way to the highest level. Well beaten in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in his first run, Tom George's contender will need to improve immeasurably here, and will face a stern test.

5. Imperial Aura - D Bass - K Bailey

Similarly to A Plus Tard, Imperial Aura has gone from winning a handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival and has blossomed into a top notch Graded chaser. A former winner of the novices' handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Kim Bailey's star then showed his class when winning the 1965 Chase at Ascot last term. Last seen pulling up in the Ryanair Chase in March, Bailey's raider will step up in trip for this event, and looks to have work to do to contend with a few of those towards the head of the betting.

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6. Next Destination - H Cobden - P Nicholls

A Grade 1-winning hurdler when under the stewardship of Willie Mullins, Next Destination has continue to blossom in the hands of Paul Nicholls, and despite being nine years old he still has very few miles on the clock over fences, and could be a potential lively outsider here. Last seen finishing a fine second to Galvin in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Next Destination will look to kick on from that effort - which is top notch form - and if he can continue on an upward curve over fences then he could turn into a potential Cheltenham Gold Cup contender this season.

7. Royale Pagaille - C Deutsch - V Williams

Made huge strides over fences last season, which culminated in a runaway win in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock Park, Royale Pagaille then lined up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Finding the hustle and bustle of the blue riband event too much, the Venetia Williams-trained could only finish in sixth place. But, he will embark another season looking to make waves in Grade 1 company, so he's a fascinating runner here and adds significant depth to the race.

8. Waiting Patiently - B Hughes - C Williams

A real top-notch chaser a few years ago, which saw him land the Grade 1 Ascot Chase in 2018, Waiting Patiently has struggled to get his head in front in recent times, but has put up some notable efforts in defeat. Second to Frodon in last season's King George VI Chase, Waiting Patiently will look to emulate that display, and a switch to Christian Williams yard could galvanise him to try and get front again. Fascinating runner.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds
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